Stanton homers twice, Marlins outlast Padres
MIAMI — Giancarlo Stanton’s latest homers lifted the Miami Marlins to unfamiliar territory.
For the first time since early April, the Marlins have a winning record as Stanton homered twice to lead Miami past the San Diego Padres 8-6 on Friday night.
“We knew we had to get back to .500 to do anything,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “We’re swinging the bats good right now.”
Stanton hit his 48th and 49th home runs and drove in five runs for the Marlins (64-63), who have won five of their last six and 11 of their last 14. He has hit 16 home runs in August and his multi-homer performance was his ninth of the season. Stanton also tied a career high of 105 RBIs set in 2014.
“I’m not worried about homers,” Stanton said. “I just want to hit the ball hard and be in a position to strike when they give me a pitch because it’s going to get less and less and I’ve got to be ready for that.”
Marcell Ozuna’s three-run home run off Padres reliever Kirby Yates (3-5) in the seventh erased a 6-5 deficit. Ozuna reached 30 home runs for the first time in his career. He also achieved 100 RBIs for the first time as his blast gave him a career-best 101.
“I was proud of him for that at-bat,” Stanton said of Ozuna’s homer. “That’s a baseball players’ at-bat — a very smart at-bat. “You’ve got to be able to download all the info and capitalize, which he did.”
Dustin McGowan (8-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief for the win. Kyle Barraclough pitched a scoreless eighth and Brad Ziegler pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 12 opportunities.
Jabari Blash’s two-run homer off McGowan capped a four-run sixth and gave the Padres (57-71) a 6-5 lead. McGowan relieved starter Adam Conley to face Blash, who drilled McGowan’s pitch deep past the wall in center field for his fourth home run.
“The plus side for us you see a gritty team that keeps fighting back,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “You’ve got young guys at the top of the batting order getting big hit after big hit after big hit after big hit and putting us back in a position.”
Conley couldn’t hold a three-run lead entering the inning and surrendered Jose Pirela’s run-scoring single and Will Myers’ sacrifice fly before being lifted for McGowan. He allowed five runs, six hits and struck out four.
Padres starter Travis Wood pitched the first five innings and allowed Stanton’s home runs. Wood surrendered five runs and nine hits while striking out three.
The Marlins struck quickly on Stanton’s two-run homer in the first. Stanton drilled Wood’s pitch 462 foot past the left field stands into the walkway.
Stanton victimized Wood again in the third when his opposite-field solo home run increased Miami’s lead to 3-0. Blash leaped above the wall in an attempt to catch Stanton’s shot but it landed in the right-center field seats.
“It’s definitely a tough lineup — it’s a good group over there and I missed a couple of pitches, especially to Stanton,” Wood said “He had his night. If it wasn’t for him and if I could have found a way to get him out, we might have had a different outcome.”
The Padres reduced the deficit on Carlos Asuaje’s two-run home run in the fourth. Asuaje’s shot off Conley landed in the Marlins’ bullpen in right-field for his third homer of the season.
Stanton gave Miami another three-run advantage after his bases-loaded two-run double in the fifth.
NOTES: The Marlins held a brief video tribute and moment of silence for Rafael “Felo” Ramirez before Friday’s game. Ramirez, the club’s lead Spanish-language play-by-play broadcaster since its inception in 1993, died Monday. Ramirez, whose broadcasting career spanned 72years, was 94. ... LHP Wei-Yin Chen threw 12 pitches during a rehab assignment in the Marlins’ Gulf Coast League affiliate game Friday in Jupiter, Fla. Chen has been sidelined with fatigue in his pitching elbow since early May. ... Since being acquired from Kansas City July 24, Wood has pitched at least five innings in each of his six starts for the Padres. ... Blash played two seasons of collegiate baseball at Miami-Dade College before being selected in the 2010 draft.